Posts Tagged ‘financial regulation’

Time to clean up the banking sector in London, New York style

17/08/2012, 07:00:48 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Ben Lawsky. Remember that name. This week he changed how banks and financial institutions across the world will be regulated.

While the UK relies on esteemed commissions like Vickers or waits for its parliamentarians to stroll through detail of the the Libor scandal, the state of New York has re-defined how to regulate.

Lawsky runs the department for financial services.  If a financial institution wants to do business in New York, they need a licence from Lawsky.

This week the superintendent – for that is Lawsky’s title – humbled Britain’s mighty Standard Chartered Bank (SCB).

Eleven days ago he issued an order against SCB on its failure to stop money laundering for Iranian organisations. The order was scathing, stating Standard Chartered was “rogue” and was engaged in “dealings that indisputably helped sustain a global threat to peace and stability.”

The bank pushed back strongly, other regulators briefed financial journalists that Lawsky was over playing his hand and even the governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King weighed in, rebuking Lawsky for his precipitate action.

The clue as to what would happen next was in Mervyn King’s intervention. Given his track record on effective banking sector regulation, there was only going to be one outcome.

Earlier this week Standard Chartered settled to the tune of $340m.

It is an enormous win for Lawsky and re-writes the rules for financial regulation in a way that will have major political ramifications in the UK.


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Whips notebook: part two

06/01/2012, 11:03:04 AM

by Jon Ashworth

Just before the Christmas recess we won a vote. It was at the end of a debate on the economy and our quick thinking and experienced chief and deputy chief whip forced a division when the government was least expecting it. There was panic on the faces of government whips, with one senior government whip, with the rather splendid title of comptroller of Her Majesty household seeming especially agitated.

It was no wonder that the government whips were so hot under the collar. When the final scores on the doors were read out by the Labour whip (who just so happened to be me) only 79 government MPs voted, compared to 213 from the opposition. Of course winning a vote is nothing to get carried away with. Defeating the government on what was effectively a procedural matter doesn’t really change anything, though it does make the government look like a bit of a shambles and puts a spring in the step of a Labour MP.

Labour Uncut readers don’t need reminding that winning the central argument on the economy is vital to Labour’s future electoral success. In squaring up to George Osborne our shadow chancellor Ed Balls has a formidable opponent. (more…)

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